By Kent Larsen
Church's Role in Utah Criticized on SlashDot.org
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The LDS Church's role in Utah was criticized
in a recent thread on the online bulletin board at slashdot.org, a
website featuring news and support for computer professionals. The
Salt Lake Tribune reported on the thread, quoting University of Utah
professor Matthew Burbank as suggesting that the thread can't be
dismissed lightly. "It's a problem, from a public relations
standpoint," said Burbank.
The article quoted comments from a variety of posters to the bulletin
board on threads with subjects like "Not just Salt Lake" and "I
personally wouldn't dream of relocating to Utah." The threads were a
response to a news article on Iomega President Bruce Albertson's
complaint two weeks ago that Utah's economic growth is hobbled by
absurd liquor laws.
Many of the comments seemed to agree with Albertson's assessment. "If
you didn't grow up there, and you don't fit in with the society where
[a majority] of the people you encounter are members of the same
religion, and, consciously or not, view nonmembers [and] outsiders
with suspicion, it's not a nice place to live," wrote one writer.
Another said, "Utah is truly one of the scariest states in the
republic. The line between church and state isn't just fuzzy, it's
been erased, and the moronic liquor laws are just one embodiment of
But other posters defended the Church and the state, claiming that
many of the posts on the subject were "Mormon bashing" and explaining
the Church's position in terms of its mistreatment in the 1800s.
Others defended the Church by saying that the problem existed because
of Utah, not because of the Church, "I'm Mormon. I think for myself,
thank you very much. I lived in Utah for six years, and I'm never
going back. I found it to be as close-minded as you. But you can't
blame Mormons, the Mormon church, or a homogenous culture in general
for Utah's problems," wrote one participant.
Online Debate Among Techies Critical of Utah
Salt Lake Tribune 5Mar01 I6
By Paul Beebe: Salt Lake Tribune